I read this awhile ago and am still fixing/updating my GR reviews one by one.
This is an old category romance that I read way back when. I’m not usually a re-reader but I stumbled across this in unabridged audio format and figured what the heck. I listen to audio’s when I’m doing tedious tasks like driving, cleaning the yard of dog poo or scrubbing the bathroom. There’s not much to lose on my end and I’ll usually finish everything I start on audio, excepting The Ill-Made Mute which was one of the few too torturous for even me to finish. Mackenzie’s Mountain was a much better choice and reminded me of why I used to love romances so much.
Mackenzie’s Mountain is a contemporary but may seem slightly dated to the modern reader and they’ll probably think it full of clichés but damn I’ll take dated over ho-hum any day. They just don’t write romances like this anymore (and if they do, can you point me to some titles please?). Wolf Mackenzie was sent to prison for two years after being falsely accused of rape, purely on the basis of his half-breed (mostly Indian) heritage and small town bigotry. Now he’s a loner, living atop his mountain with his teenage son Joe and raising horses on his ranch. He avoids people, especially the locals and Anglo women and seriously who could blame him? Mary is the new school teacher in town and when she gets wind of the fact that Joe, who had stellar grades, has quit school she takes it upon herself to pay his family a visit and find out why. She immediately befriends Joe and takes him under her wing and has all sorts of strange new tingly feelings about Wolf that she doesn’t understand (she’s a virgin). Wolf tries to push her away for her own good but she’s stubborn and for some reason he can’t quite comprehend she believes in his innocence and trusts him completely.
Mary's friendship with the Mackenzie’s causes her no end of trouble but she stands up to the bigotry and her loyalty never waivers. She manages to breach all of Wolf’s prickly defenses, helps Joe when no one else could have been bothered and is an amazing heroine, the kind of heroine I wish they all were. And Wolf? He’s the strong, protective guy that will give up his own happiness to spare others from pain. He embodies the word hero. It never for a moment feels contrived. The love story is sultry and the seduction moves along at such a deliberate pace that when they finally get it on you feel relief for them both! There is just enough suspense and outside drama to keep the story interesting but the focus always remains on the relationships. I loved that most about this book. Too many books get carried away with tedious (to me, anyway) subplots and forget all about their characters and developing believable relationships.
To tell you more would ruin the experience of this beautiful love story for you. Find it and read it and hold it close because they just don’t write ‘em like this anymore.